E.J. Dionne: “McCain has shown he wants the presidency so badly that he’s willing to say anything, true or false, to win power. Obama can win by fighting for what he believes. What he can’t do is wait for the media to call McCain out — although they should — or expect voters to know he’ll fight for them when they are not yet sure that he’s willing to stand up for himself.”

One point E.J. mentions that I’ve noticed too. Beside his convention speech, I can’t think of a time in the last week or so that I saw Obama in front of a crowd. The appearances that I’m seeing showing up on TV during the day (an incomplete but probably not unrepresentative sampling) all look like there in front of a hundred or so people in a library or something. I wonder whether the celeb thing has just gotten inside his people’s collective head and they’re afraid to get him in front of real crowds.

If so, it’s a very bad mistake. He has to be who he is. He can’t run from his strengths. And he needs to charge up the people who want to be in the trenches with him. Excitement is infectious.